The President of Ghana HIV & AIDS Network (GHANET), Mr. Ernest Ortsin has called for the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to activate the National HIV and AIDS Fund in its 2023 budget.
“We need the National HIV and AIDS Fund to preserve the lives of the over 250,000 Ghanaians who are currently surviving on life-saving Anti-Retroviral (ART) drugs. It is instructive to note that about 8 percent of this number are children (i.e. 20,000),” he stated in his address at the 2022 World AIDS Day celebration.
Mr Orstin explained that his “appeal borders on the National HIV and AIDS Fund whose activation has delayed since 2016”, therefore its activation provides some financial relief in diagnosing and treating HIV/AIDS cases.
The Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr. Kyeremah Atuahene, in his address revealed that adolescent girls made up a huge number of new HIV/AIDS infections for the year 2021.
The Director General blamed the disturbing statistics on the complacency and recklessness of Ghanaians.
“Ghanaians have become overly complicit so far as HIV is concerned. While high-risk behaviours have become increasingly pervasive in Ghanaian society, prevention protocols are least respected by individual Ghanaians, shooting up the numbers, averaging 25,000 annually over the last five years. [Of] Utmost concern is the fact that new infections continue to occur in high numbers among our adolescent and young women. Young women and girls account for 20% of total new infections that occurred in the country in the year 2021.”
Dr Atuahene, called on various stakeholders to collaborate with the commission to reduce the number of infections.